Salary & Bonus Systems in a 'managerless' ecosystem?

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- 2 min read

Hello Fellow Rebels,

I just had a fantastic conversation with Ellen at Corporate Rebels HQ about some challenges we are facing with moving towards a ‘managerless’ ecosystem.

For some context, we operate what we call our ‘team of teams’ whereby we have 7 small agile cross functional teams (maximum of 7 people per team). Each team has a team lead.

We have ‘tribes’ which are social groups of people who have a shared common interest group, e.g. SEO, where the tribes can socialise, share knowledge, best practices, attend meetups and conferences and generally geek out on things.

We have a mentor program, where everybody have someone whose job it is to support team members personal and professional development

Both mentors and team leads have no hierarchical connection and actually we have found it best if mentors are not from the same tribe.

We operate in weekly sprints and swarms, which are really cool and we do lots of retrospection to help us continue to organically improve.

We have retrospectives every week, every quarter and even after we have delivered some important piece of content. This is kicked off during our onboarding and new team members will have done at least 3 retrospectives before the end of their first week.

To be successful and thrive in our ecosystem you must be self-driving, you will not be successful if you need to be told what to do.

So, onto our current challenges, with our ‘managerless’ ecosystem, they are:

Salary Reviews
Bonus Systems (at team and ecosystem levels)

We have invested heavily in our culture and are looking for an experienced expert who can understand our unique culture and help advise and implement a salary and bonus system which complements it.

Any contacts or recommended reading (& viewing) would be extremely appreciated.

I am due to speak with Aaron Dignan (Brave New Work) tomorrow, so I will let everybody know his thoughts also.

Thank you for your time.

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Replies (4)



Sounds like a cool challenge! I guess Stefanie Hornung could be a great person to work with on a topic like this. Check out her profile here:

She wrote two good articles on 'new pay', and can be found:


& here:

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Stefanie Hornung

Stefanie Hornung

Thanks for the recommendation, Pim!

Andy, let's talk about whether we from Team New Pay can help you with this. Together with Nadine Nobile and Sven Franke, I have developed an approach that aims to fit the corporate culture with the compensation system. My colleagues are currently supporting several organizations in the process. In most cases, the first step is to find out what values prevail in the organization, what attitude people have towards work and performance and what possible feelings of interference a company may have with the current compensation approach. A participatory approach with a volunteer group of employees working together to develop a proposal is a good way to do this.

If that sounds interesting to you, let's connect on LinkedIn.

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Hi Stefanie,

Perfect! Look forward to connecting.

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Hi Andy,

I would also look into some of the more progressive consulting companies that operate without managers, and that have some solid reward practices in place, that can help you as experts. I think about two companies in particular:
* K2K from Bilbao (
* Centigo from Sweden (

I'm sure they can tell you much more about it.

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